Confidence in overseas travel is growing among Singaporeans who hope the successful vaccination program will open the door to international travel by year-end.

According to Expedia, searches for year-end international travel grew by 60% during the second quarter of 2021 compared with the first quarter.

It indicates strong pent-up demand to book off-share holidays even though international travel restrictions remain largely in place between the city-state and destinations worldwide.

Optimism towards international travel in recent months has been fuelled by higher vaccination rates among the resident population – with 75% of Singapore citizens expected to be inoculated by October 2021. This boosting interest in planning trips from November 2021 to the end of January 2022.

Searches for staycations grew close to 440% in the second quarter (Q2 2021), which included the June school holidays, compared to the previous quarter (Q1 2021). Despite the recent restrictions imposed as part of the country’s heightened alert, families in Singapore explored safe options to proceed with their staycation plans to fulfill their travel wanderlust. 

In total, search volume for domestic and international travel combined grew by 140% from Q1 to Q2.

Expedia Brand APAC head of communications, Lavinia Rajaram said, “The demand that the travel industry is seeing for the year-end travel season demonstrates just how eager Singapore travellers are to get back out there.”  Beaches and long-haul travel top wish lists

With Singapore as the most vacation-deprived market in the world, as revealed by Expedia’s 2020 Vacation Deprivation Study, it came as no surprise that Singaporeans are eager to travel internationally. Expedia’s recent search data also revealed a shift in their preferred international destinations, with beach destinations becoming more popular for year-end travel among Singaporeans as compared to the same period in 2019 and 2018 when cooler North Asia destinations like Okinawa, Seoul and Taipei were top choices.

Beach destinations featured prominently in the list of top 10 most-searched international destinations, with the Maldives taking the top spot – a big jump from 2018 and 2019 when it took the 14th spot on the list

Thailand beach destinations that made the top 10 list were Krabi and Phuket with Bangkok coming in 5th spot.  The top 10 most-searched international destinations, based on hotel searches on between 1 May and 10 June 2021, for travel between November 2021 and January 2022 were:

Hua Hin or other Royal Coast destination were not mentioned in the report; not surprising considering the lack of marketing for this destination.  The availability of direct flights (around 2 hours) from Singapore may also make a big difference in appealling to this market.

1.         Maldives

2.         Tokyo

3.         Bali

4.         Krabi

5.         Bangkok

6.         Hong Kong

7.         Taipei

8.         New York

9.         Las Vegas

10.       Phuket

Despite growing optimism around international travel for the year-end period, 71% of Singaporeans revealed that they feel overwhelmed with planning their next trip, according to recent findings from Expedia’s Travel Companions Report.